Monday, February 28, 2011

On The Easel - Teacups and The Art Of Observation

"Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, is our destined end or way; / But to act, that each
 to-morrow / Finds us further than to-day."   -Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

©Laura Leeder, Feb.2011, Watercolor in progress
It occured to me this morning as I was preparing this post that these small paintings of teacups are excellent lessons in honing my observation skills.  Not to mention drawing & perspective.  
A better part of Saturday and Sunday was spent sorting receipts, and preparing my year-end for income tax.  I am happy to say that I have completed this task!  
I have a busy morning scheduled, if I can get into the studio this afternoon, I will get this painting finished.
Enjoy your day,  Laura Leeder
And the snow just keeps falling and falling and falling.....

Saturday, February 26, 2011

On The Easel - The 2nd Creston Museum Teacup

"You don't get into the mood to create – it's discipline."  -Twyla Tharp

©Laura Leeder, Feb.2011, Watercolor in progress

Working on the 2nd of the Creston Museum Teacups.  This is another small one....the size is 5"x7".  I think that I will select two more to paint this size, and then take a break from this format for a while.

I took advantage of the sun's presence yesterday and photographed a set-up with another teacup and a cluster of "spring" flowers.   I hope to start working on this one next week.

I will be spending a better part of my day sorting and organizing my receipts, invoices, etc for tax preparation.  A task I never seem to get done before hand!   (I know, I know....if I did a few minutes each month.....)  At any rate, I will have this done, along with the paperwork and ready to be sent off to the accountant Monday morning. 

Enjoy your weekend,
Laura Leeder    

"Indoors or out, no one relaxes in March, that month of wind and taxes, the wind will presently disappear, the taxes last us all the year."  ~Ogden Nash

Friday, February 25, 2011

On The Easel - Magnolia Blooms and Teacups

"You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me."   
  ~C.S. Lewis

©Miss Magnolia, Watercolor, 5"x7"
   Laura Leeder, February 2011

This little painting is finished!  It is the 1st, of the Creston Museum Teacup's, to be painted, as part of my "Teacup Series".  Initially, I had planned to complete 8-12 of these 5"x7" paintings.  I may re-consider that, and complete less, as they take a lot of time.  A slightly larger size will be a lot easier to work with.

Did You Know.....
   -Scented teas can double as potpourri, place them around the house or in drawers.

 *To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog -"Teacup Series".   All PAINTINGS will be available for purchase later this spring. 

*Attend the Creston Museum's Old Fashioned Tea, this summer, and you could be the winner of one of my "Teacup" paintings.

Now if I can get my eye's uncrossed, I can start on the next one!

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder

Thursday, February 24, 2011

On The Easel-The 1st Creston Museum Teacup

"Observation and study are necessary to achieve mastery of light and form." 
    -Andrew Loomis

©Laura Leeder, Feb.2011, Watercolor in progress

This Teacup is starting to take shape.  The size of this piece is 5"x7" and trying to block in the design and develop believable shadows on the plate is more complicated than I had anticipated!

If I can achieve a likeness, I will be happy with that.  I hope to finish this one today and start another teacup.....

The weather forecast is bleak, snow flurries and strong winds, another good day to spend at home, in the studio painting.  (hopefully, the wind dies down this afternoon, and I can get outside for a walk)

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

On The Easel - The 1st Creston Museum Cup In The Series

"We see the brightness of a new page where everything yet can happen."
    -Rainer Maria Rilke

©Laura Leeder, Feb.2011, Watercolor in progress.....
This is the 1st of several of the Creston Museum Teacups that I will be painting a likeness of.

Not much to see at this point, however, I alway's like to show the start of a this is the stage that is full of anticipation and excitement for me.  When those first few drops of juicy wet paint hit the paper and spread out......aah!  Can I tame it?...or will it do what it wants.....  At this stage the painting is starting to come to life and full of possibilities.    
The size of this piece is 5"x7"...I plan to complete several of these...although, painting this small is definately a challenge! 
A good day to spend in the studio as the temperature here in Creston is -6, snowing and windy.

Yours in art,
Laura Leeder 

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

On The Easel - "Miss Etiquette", New Teacup Painting

"A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards."     ~A.A. Milne


©Miss Etiquette, Watercolor, 10.5"x11.75"
   Laura Leeder, 2011

Tea Etiquette Tips.....
    -It is considered rude to stir one's tea in wide circular motions. Proper etiquette requires the teaspoon to be held at the six o'clock position to begin. Then, any added liquid is folded lightly towards the twelve o'clock position two or three times.

Artfully Yours,
Laura Leeder

*To see more in this series of paintings, click on the page at the top of the blog, teacup series, all paintings will be available for sale later this spring.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Your Heart's Desire and more, this Valentine's Day!

"A cup of tea to say thank you  ...  For all the things you've done,
And wishes that the day will bring ... You happiness and fun..
                            Happy Valentine's Day!"

©Heart's Desire, Watercolor, 8.5" x 10.5"
   Laura Leeder, 2011  
I came across this teacup two week's ago, when I was shopping at Winner's.  (My favorite place in Cranbrook) brought a smile to my face and I couldn't resist using it in my "Teacup Series".  For purchase information, contact me at:
"Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for."    Wishing you happiness and more on this Valentine's Day....
Artfully Yours, Laura Leeder 
*Tea Facts- Did You Know.......
  -Water quality effects how the tea will taste. Spring water is recommended because of the mineral content and lack of additives like chlorine and flouride, which harm tea taste. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

In The StudioThis Week....Trash or Treasures?!

"When I am halfway there with a painting, it can occasionally be thrilling... But it happens very rarely; usually it's agony... I go to great pains to mask the agony. But the struggle is there. It's the invisible enemy."    -Richard Diebenkorn

     ©Laura Leeder, February 2011, paintings in progress

Okay, I'm not really planning to trash any of these......I'm hoping to end up with a treasure of two. 

I thought if would be interesting to show you all the paintings that are in my studio in various stages of completion.  Most are close to completing....they are at that stage where the initial fun & excitement is gone.

It's time to Analise, make adjustments in color, and add the details that will hopefully pull it all together.  (all of which, takes a lot of time & positive energy)

"The struggle between art and mastery is like the struggle between spontaneity and persistence. When they become one, it is indeed rare and hard won."  -Paul Kane

      ©Laura Leeder, February 2011, paintings in progress

Sometimes projects and time constraints force me to leave an unfinished painting for a later date, and focus on new painting ideas.  As is the case right now with the "Teacup" series I am working on.  Several of these need to be completed for Spring, so they are the priority.  I have been working on 3 Teacup paintings this week and one is completed.....(will post this one tomorrow) another is very close to being done. 

I have also spent time photographing other teacup's for more paintings.  Plan to start 2 more of these this week....(they are teacups from the Museum). 

While I always have more than 1 painting on the go at any one time, I will admit that 6 is a lot, even for me!
It's a bit daunting.....but, I will spend a few minutes a day on these and I will eventually get them all completed!  

Happy Sunday Everyone!

 Laura Leeder

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

On The Easel - Today's Focus...It's All In The Details!

"There is one thing one has to have: either a soul that is cheerful by nature, or a soul made cheerful by work, love, art, and knowledge." 
    -Friedrich Nietzsche

Teacup #4 in the Series

©2011, Laura Leeder, Watercolor

It's All In The Details!  A saying I use quite a lot.  And that's the stage this painting is in. 

Studying it overall and adjusting values where needed. 

Adding enough detail to the lace to make it believable, especially the area's where the lace overlaps. 
(I've avoided including areas of folded lace in many of my paintings in the past, as it is tricky and time consuming)

I will work on this piece for a while to today, as I am feeling brave! 

Enjoy your day, Laura Leeder  

Did You Know......
     - Delicate, malty, smoky, full bodied, woodsy, fruity and aromatic are all words used to describe
        tea taste.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On The Easel - Another Day Towards Progress

"What would it be like if you lived each day, each breath, as a work of art in progress? Imagine that you are a Masterpiece unfolding, every second of every day, a work of art taking form with every breath."   -Thomas Crum

#4 in the Teacup Series
©2011, Laura Leeder, Watercolor  
This painting is slowly taking shape.  I am pleased with the overall feel of this piece and starting to think about a suitable title.  I plan to spend an hour in the studio today and will continue to work on this painting. 

I was at the Museum Thursday afternoon going through the many containers filled with teacups.  Wow!
What a selection.....I had a tough time deciding on the cups I wanted to use.  Initially, I thought I would select 8 - 12 the end I chose 20 teacups.  I'm excited to get started on these paintings!

This "Teacup Series" I am working on will be featured at the Crestion Museums
 "An Old-Fashioned Tea"  -  August 13, 2011, From 1:00pm - 4:00pm

One lucky winner will take home an original Watercolor Painting featuring one of the Museums teacups!

For more information and reservations please follow this link:

Old-Fashioned Tea at the Creston Museum

And's time for tea!
Artfully Yours, Laura Leeder

Did You Know......
      Most tea falls into one of three categories; black, oolong and green.
      Other categories include white and yellow.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

On The Easel - Another Day, Another Teacup

"Sometimes there are rare golden moments, moments of bliss and dreamlike poetry... That's what gives me my passion and the fuel I need to continue moving paint across a fresh, waiting canvas."  -Eric Frantz        

©2011, Laura Leeder, Watercolor                          

I ended last week feeling disappointed and fustrated that I didn't complete my painting #3 in the teacup series.  Knowing that a break from it was in order, I started working on this one, #4 in the series (no titles, as yet).  I will continue to work on this one today......

I am pleased with the way the background tuned out.  It has an old, weathered sort of feel, and such depth!  The colors used are: Indanthrone Blue, Burnt Sienna and Amythest Genuine, all Daniel Smith Watercolors.

Artfuly Yours,
Laura Leeder 

Did You Know.....
    -Tea comes from the leaves of a tree call Camellia sinensis. Although the tree can grow over 300 feet tall it is cut short like bush so that the leaves can be plucked easily while harvesting.
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